Review: ‘Thanks to Gravity’

A smart, attractive Jewish Latina lands on her feet in the heated twin atmospheres of college debate teams and college guys in the thinly realized "Thanks to Gravity." Multicultural appeal looks on paper to be a dream for Jewish and Latino fests, but undemanding item is best geared for gal-oriented cablers.

A smart, attractive Jewish Latina lands on her feet in the heated twin atmospheres of college debate teams and college guys in the thinly realized “Thanks to Gravity.” Dulled by paint-by-numbers dramatics and first-person voiceover narration galore, pic should have a you-go-girl peppiness but amounts instead to a tepid sentimental education. Multicultural appeal looks on paper to be a dream for Jewish and Latino fests, but undemanding item is best geared for gal-oriented cablers.

Acing the guys in high school debate, Miami-born Jordan (aptly cast Gina Philips) attracts the attention of the Harvard debate team and is awarded a scholarship. Things turn bad when Jordan is raped by a debate opponent, and later is led astray by one cute guy (Brian Greenberg) and pursued by another (Adam Rodriquez), who’s at least acceptable to her parents because he’s Jewish and Cuban. By act three, Jordan screws her head back on and reaches the national finals, where she faces off with none other than the scumbag rapist. Distingushed thesps Shirley Knight (as Jordan’s loving grandmom) and Joaquim de Almeida (as stern but loving dad) are saddled with rote roles.

Thanks to Gravity

Production

A Voyage Entertainment presentation. Produced by Amy Greenspun, Gina Philips. Directed, written by Jessica Kavana-Dornbusch.

Crew

Camera (Deluxe color), Mauricio Rubinstein; editors, Les Butler, Steve Butler; music, Jeff Cardoni; music supervisor, Debra Baum; production designer, Barbara Peterson; costume designer, Ellen Falguire. Reviewed at CineVegas Film Festival, Las Vegas, June 13, 2006. Running time: 96 MIN.

With

Gina Philips, Adam Rodriquez, Rachel Miner, Sean Astin, Bryan Greenberg, Chris Mulkey, Azura Skye, Austin Nichols, Joaquim de Almeida, Eve Gordon, Shirley Knight, Sendhil Ramamurthy.
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